This weekend, Time Warner Cable customers will find out who their real friends are. Make your list of nearby homies that don't have TWC and make it fast if you want to continue the Sunday evening ritual of 60 Minutes, keep up with Dexter's final season, or continue checking out this summer's newest hit, Under the Dome, because the cable provider has shockingly kicked CBS to the curb.
Networks under the CBS umbrella include: TMC, Flix, Smithsonian, and biggest of all, Showtime, and all have gone dark on TWC since Friday at 5 P.M. (EST) in New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, and several other markets. TWC and CBS have been re-negotiating their carriage contract since the old one expired in June, and as evidenced, talks have soured. Time Warner was given the option to continue broadcasting each network while negotiations raged on, instead they've chosen to put the figurative gat to CBS' chest. This is the first time the network and its subsidiaries have ever been dumped by a major cable provider.
The gist of the conflict: CBS wants more money. In an official statement they said: "Throughout this process, Time Warner Cable has conducted negotiations in a combative and non-productive spirit, indulging in pointless brinksmanship and distorted public positioning … What CBS seeks, and what we always have sought from the beginning, is fair compensation for the most-watched television network with the most popular content in the world. We will not accept less … We hope and believe this period of darkness will be short and that we can all get back to the business.”
It appears we have a good ol' fashioned stand-off, and the dispute will only escalate with time as we get closer to the premiere of the 2013-'14 TV season. No one's lamenting the loss of Big Brother, but what about when tried and true hits like NCIS and Big Bang Theory return? Meanwhile, illegal downloads for Dexter are about to peak.